by Elizabeth Palmer from the September 9, 2013 issue
Tagline: Tanya had gotten a new job in a new town. Now, what she needed was a new friend...
In a Nutshell: Tanya likes her neighbor, but assumes he's married because he always seems to be in the company of this woman, but when a piece of his mail gets mixed with hers, she finds out the woman is his sister, who as been visiting. Jamie is a photographer and Tanya's new job is at the art museum. It's a match made in heaven--with a little help from the sister.
Observations: Palmer has had many stories published by Woman's World and this demonstrates why. There are a lot of small things that help elevate the story.
This story combines two story tropes nicely--the misidentified person (usually a woman the heroine assumes is a love interest but who in reality is a sister, cousin, co-worker, etc.) and the matchmaker. That's a simple way to branch out from the tried and true story plots that appear in the magazine.
I liked the hero's sense of humor and how this joke shows he and his sister have a great relationship:
"I've been meaning to welcome you to the building, but Lori's been running me ragged. I'm glad she's finally leaving."
"Ha," Lori said. "He'll miss me when I'm gone."
The conversation introduced the thing they have in common very naturally and the fact that there is a thing in common helps the reader believe they have a chance at happiness.
The author also talked about Tanya needing a manicure and pedicure early in the story and then touched on it again near the end, a nice way of making the story feel more cohesive.
Lastly, I wanted you to take note of the deft transition to show the passage of time.
"Tanya sit. Let's talk while I finish packing."
"How do you take your coffee?" Jamie asked her.
Soon she was sipping coffee and answering Jamie and Lori's barrrage of questions.
Because the word count is so small, you have to move your plot along briskly. This sentence gets the reader past the making and serving of the coffee and whatever small talk occurred during that. Oh, also, we skip Jamie even asking her if she'd like some coffee in the first place. No one wants to read small talk. We want to get to the interesting part!
Photo by SparkCBC (cc)